change size of live usb os

Thinking of putting geckolinux - plasma onto a 16GB USB bootable. The Linux distro is about 1GB and waist 15GB of the USB and make using the live system more difficult at only 400MB free space for root. How can I use the running Leap 42.1 system access the usb to resize iso created root on the USB drive? I know I can probably mess with the usb and recover unused space to make /home /usr but it is really root that needs more space.

When you are using a live system, keep in mind that it was intended to be possible to run that from a CD or DVD. And those are often read-only. So if you are seeing 400M free for the root file system, then that free space is really a ram-disk.

In order to fit a running system into 1G, it typically uses compression. So most of what is on the live system uses the file system “squashfs” which is a read-only compressed system, and uncompressed dynamically as you read it.

If you look more closely, the root file system for the running live system probably uses “overlayfs”. This takes two file systems. One of those is read-only (the “squashfs” system). The other is read-write, and that’s the ram disk. The overlayfs system combines to two to look like a single file system. Writes go to the read-write part, reads come from the read-only part unless there is already something on the read-write part.

Moving things around would be tricky.

You can actually install opensuse to a USB drive. That way you can arrange partitions how you want. I’ve only done that to a hard drive in an enclosure, but it should work the same way to a flash drive. Also check suse-studio. Maybe that will help you do what you want.

opensuse 13.2 live on usb didn’t seem to be a compressed image at 5GB in use for root 500mb swap and 800 mb free leaving about 10gb unallocated. The flashdrive when used remembered settings between sessions and could install software until libraries and updates aged out. I was pointed to geckolinux as the goto replacement but reading it says it is stripped down and small at only 1GB. Info says virtualbox and other apps may not have enough space to run on a limited space of 400mb.

I didn’t try to expand or change the unallocated space into a drive as this was pointless with 13.2 being EOL.

To create my recovery methods I need to be able to install testdrive and teamviewer or similar desktop share and hopefully make use of rest of drive.
I am a little puzzled over mention of ability to update, add packages and or do rolling release if geckolinux is fixed size / compressed filesystem.

Maybe try the reference in the GeckoLinux docs.

I still have the iso for 13.2 live KDE on my computer.

So I mounted it. And this is what I see:

dr-xr-xr-x 4 nobody nogroup       292 Oct 27  2014 boot
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup        91 Oct 27  2014 config.isoclient
dr-xr-xr-x 3 nobody nogroup        84 Oct 27  2014 EFI
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup   6359040 Oct 27  2014 glump
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup     18007 Oct 27  2014 GPLv2.txt
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup     35147 Oct 27  2014 GPLv3.txt
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup        41 Oct 27  2014 liveboot
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 821624832 Oct 27  2014 openSUSE-13.2-livecd-kde-read-only.x86_64-2.8.0
-r--r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup       574 Oct 27  2014 syslinux.cfg

As you can see, almost all of the space is that huge 821M file.

Checking that:

# file /mnt/1/openSUSE-13.2-livecd-kde-read-only.x86_64-2.8.0
/mnt/1/openSUSE-13.2-livecd-kde-read-only.x86_64-2.8.0: Squashfs filesystem, little endian, version 4.0, 821571496 bytes, 88168 inodes, blocksize: 1048576 bytes, created: Mon Oct 27 10:24:01 2014

It’s a squashfs file system. That is, it is a compressed file system containing most of the live KDE system.

I see what you mean. Just checked my 13.2 Live stick and it has 400mb of read-write space plus the items you show with the 8gb read only file which on my build is only 6gb but values of the rest are the same. GeckoLinux info site confirms it is also compressed loading to a ramdisk with samll persistant storage on the USB device for settings. An Install to USB is only way to make it runnable live. I foresee that if I install bootloader and running system to usb that will trash my ability to run existing from the harddisk. There must be a way to install to USB without it changing the real harddisk grub bootloader so that the usb can act as a standalone recovery device usable on many PC systems.

You will probably need a second USB device for the install media. When I did that (to a hard drive with a USB enclosure), I booted the installer USB to the boot menu, and only then plugged in the destination USB before continuing the boot.

During the partitioning section of install, make sure that all partitions are on the destination USB.

When you see the install summary screen, click on the section for booting. There should be place where can click to check the disk order during booting. Make sure that the destination USB comes first in that disk order.

Apart from that, it’s about the same as any install.

Sounds very reasonable, hope it works fine. Will do next week and then the challenge is to try a advise a non-computer person 3000 miles away how to do the same.